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Mends St Jetty


Mends Street Jetty is located in South Perth in Western Australia. The jetty is on the southern shore of the Swan River in the section known as Perth Water. The ferry service is primarily used for accessing the Perth Zoo from the CBD

Mends Street Jetty is located in South Perth in Western Australia. The jetty is on the southern shore of the Swan River in the section known as Perth Water. The ferry service is primarily used for accessing the Perth Zoo from the CBD.

The Jetty

It is unknown when the first jetty at Mends Street was built, however, with the opening of the Perth Zoo in October 1898 it was recognised that a regular cross-river ferry service was needed. Therefore, at about that time, the existing jetty was widened to 15 feet and an existing service which ran between William Street and Queen Street Jetty was extended to Mends Street.

The service was run by Joseph Charles who operated the Queen (later Empress) and the Princess. A few months later, Charles and his partner S. W. Copley started operating the PS Duchess, a locally constructed vessel.Duchess made its inaugural run to Mends Street Jetty on 11 December 1898, and plied the route for the following 29 years.

Later services included a business operated by Jack Olsen and Claes Sutton who ran a fleet including the Valfreda, Valkyrie I and II, Valhalla and the Valdhana between jetties at Point Belches near The Narrows, Mends Street and Coode Street.



A ferry service from Perth established in the 1880s made the area much more accessible


Windsor Park was established in 1886 as a village green for South Perth and has been used by residents of the district for recreational purposes constantly from this time. Over the years the sports of lawn bowls, cricket, rugby, tennis, football and soccer have been played on the green. Though the other sports have been relocated, the Lawn Bowling Club is still there.

Windsor Park has aesthetic, historic and social cultural heritage significance. The open space makes a valuable contribution to the heritage precinct that includes the Windsor Hotel, Heritage House, the Old Mill Theatre, the Police Station and the Post Office. It is a remnant of the village green or common, a part of life inherited from British lifestyle, no longer practiced in Australia. As a centre of recreation the South Perth and Deaf Bowling Club is still functioning, while historically the park used to be the focal point for sport in South Perth. Windsor Park is still used for the occasional sporting event, but is more important for its passive recreational popularity.


1898 two major attractions opened — the Perth Zoo and the Windsor Hotel.

The Perth Zoo has valuable aesthetic, historic, social, representative, scientific and rarity cultural heritage significance. The Perth Zoo has a long, interesting and varied history. From a built point of view, even though there have been many changes in its one hundred and two years since establishment, there are still a number of enclosures that reflect the way things used to be done in the late nineteenth century. The Perth Zoo is an amazing reflection of the way things have developed and changed in the scientific approach to educate people in animal habitats. The grounds are well maintained and hold a large number of different plant species, all which add to the beauty of the Perth Zoo.

The Windsor Hotel

The Windsor Hotel was designed by prominent architect J. J. Talbot Hobbs, and built for George Stickland in 1898 at a cost of ₤4,050. The hotel opened on the corner of Mends Street and Mill Point Road at a time when the popularity of South Perth was increasing; by the mid-1890s the suburb was well established. In 1898, the Perth Zoo opened, along with a post office, which operated out of the hotel for a period of time. Part way through World War II, the Stickland family sold the hotel to Mary Thomas (later Mary Raine), who willed it to the University of Western Australia. Major works have taken place since the Windsor was constructed in 1898, with renovations carried out in 1962, 1965, 1970, the 1980s and 1991.

It’s 1898 and I need to collect my mail!

Did you know that the first post and telegraph office in South Perth operated out of a room at the foot of the stairs in the Windsor Hotel?

The office began operating on 7 November 1898 (the same day that the Windsor officially opened for trade) and continued to operate until the Post Office on the corner of Mends Street and Mill Point Road was constructed in 1900.


"Halehurst", Mends St, South Perth (c1903 - c1905)

Originally known as an isolated artist's colony by 1903 South Perth was becoming a tourist destination and a dormitory suburb for the city. The Zoo opened in 1898 and Mends Street became a part of the tourist walk from ferry to zoo.

Artist May Gibbs lived close by and "depicted well-known local residents (including first Zoo Director Ernest Le Souef on a bicycle) hurrying along Mends Street to catch the Duchess to Perth. One of May Gibbs’ 1906 cartoons, depicted well-known  South Perth characters hurrying down Mends Street to catch the ferry to Perth.(pictured). ... Looking back, the talented father-daughter team was also part of a defined artistic community in South Perth, in the early days of the twentieth century. May Gibbs arrived in South Perth in 1890 with Herbert and her mother, Cecilia. The family lived together at ‘The Dune’, a bungalow on the corner of Harper Street and Suburban Road (now Mill Point Road) until Herbert’s death in 1940. May grew into adulthood in the tranquillity of South Perth in the 1900 era – relying heavily on the Perth - South Perth ferry service – with the construction of the Narrows Bridge six decades away."

Herbert and Caroline's daughter Mary was born in South Perth in May 1903 at "Halehurst", Mends Street. "Halehurst", after Caroline's family, later became the name for the long term family home in Melbourne.

Mends St is short and runs down to the Swan River opposite the Perth business district. Just prior to 1900 a ferry terminal was built at the end of the street (shown in this family photo).

The 1904 directory shows only two houses on the east of Mends Street between the jetty and the Windsor Hotel with the Shaws closest to the water. Opposite were only a couple more houses and a tea gardens establishment. By 1926 when the photo on the right was taken the number of houses on Herbert's side of the street hadn't changed. The view is down Mends Street to the ferry terminal from near the Windsor Hotel and it is just possible that the house on the right is "Halehurst". Certainly in 1904 the Esplanade seems to have finished at Mends Street so Herbert must have enjoyed "absolute waterfront". It is likely that the photo below, showing the jetty with Perth in the background, was taken from close by the house.

The Shaws weren't alone in South Perth with two of Herbert's sisters and their young families within a short walk. Almost next door in the first house back up The Esplanade were Theo and Eva Felstead and family (left with Bill and Muriel abt 1900). Horace and Effie Summers and their family were living about a kilometre away at the corner of Stirling and Melville Parade and Alfred Shaw was not far away living in one of the first houses in the newly developed Applecross.

On the right are Eva, Effie, Caroline and their eight children in late 1903.

Herbert wouldn’t recognise the Mends Street of today. It has become a modern commercial strip servicing the ferry traffic of commuters and tourists. Apparently some of the original houses may remain behind the later additions of shop fronts but from a quick look they have probably been completely replaced by now. Some landmarks do remain. The Windsor Hotel is certainly still open for business looking much as it did in 1904. Further up the point the old mill which appears in many of the photos has been restored as a heritage centre.

The photo on the left was captioned "Mary, Elaine Felstead, Tom". Judging by their ages it would have been taken in 1904 probably in South Perth. (There was more to the caption but I cut it off when scanning the photo).

On the right are Ailsa Shaw (b1892) and Tom Shaw (b1901) taken about 1902.

There is an interesting footnote probably to do with the other building at that time in Mends Street, a private school. About fifteen years later, Caroline Mary's close schoolfriend Agnes Cross, then recently retired as headmistress of Tintern in Melbourne, was brought to Perth to set up a school in Mends Street. It seems too coincidental that their relationship had nothing to do with this.

From South Perth, Herbert and family moved on to Collie.


The Zephyr on ther swan river in 1921


Most Famous Ferry

The Duchess was the most famous ferry to cross the Swan River transporting passengers from Barrack Street Jetty to South Perth from 1898 to 1927.

It made its inaugural run to Mends Street Jetty on December 11, 1898, two months after the Perth Zoo was opened.

Duchess ferry Elizabeth Quay credit SLWA 1200x720

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MV Perth, Mends Street Jetty in 1939


Ferry at Mends Street Jetty, with a view across the Swan River toward Perth, Western Australia, ca. 1960




Mindeerup confirmed as name of new piazza

Mindeerup floor print

The newly developed area at the Mends Street Jetty has officially been named Mindeerup (Min-dee-rup), a traditional Noongar name meaning ‘place of the shore’.

City of South Perth Mayor Greg Milner announced the name yesterday, Sunday 15 December 2019, ahead of the Carols at Sunset – the first event staged near the new Mindeerup piazza.

The name recognises the cultural importance of the area, with the City's Aboriginal Reference Group supportive of the use of a Noongar name.

Mindeerup was developed through the City’s $7.5 million Connect South project, to become the new gateway to the City of South Perth, linking Perth CBD, Perth Zoo and greater South Perth.

It offers a dynamic entry point to welcome visitors and provides an improved visitor experience at the Mends Street Jetty area. A range of upgrades and public artworks have enhanced the atmosphere, with improved seating, lighting, weather protection – including giant canopies in the shape of a numbat and frilled neck lizard – and permanent artworks that reference the site’s character and significance.

The new Mindeerup name is complemented by the range of artworks that represent elements of Aboriginal culture, with two artworks from ART + the most ambitious works of enduring Aboriginal public art the City has commissioned to date.

Sand sculptures were installed several weeks ago near the trees and show intricate patterns referencing storm clouds, emu feathers, rock formations, waterholes and song lines. They were inspired by artist Yondee Shane Hansen’s distinctive sand paintings, and link back to ground paintings and sand drawings learned from his father and grandfather.

Still to come is nocturnal artwork, Karl Kep Ngoornd-iny (meaning Fire and Water Dreaming), which will use light, sound and projection technologies to represent the cycles and rhythms of this country from an Aboriginal perspective. This art will use new technology to share ancient stories of the significant place.

Mayor Milner was pleased to announce the new name for the iconic part of South Perth at a small naming ceremony that included a Welcome to Country from local Kerry-Ann Winmar and Aboriginal dance performance by the Wadumbah Dance Group.

“Mindeerup means ‘place of the shore’ and has been previously recorded as the traditional Noongar name for this area,” Mayor Milner said.

“The name was considered and endorsed by the City’s Aboriginal Reference Group and acknowledges the significance of this area in Noongar culture and heritage.

“The City’s goal for Mindeerup is to provide a unique and vibrant welcome to visitors, a fantastic meeting place for residents and support to local businesses in encouraging people to see and enjoy the area.

“No success is achieved in isolation, and I’d like to thank everyone for their contributions to Mindeerup – one of the City’s biggest major capital works projects.

“Construction began in February this year, but the project began much earlier. There has been stakeholder and community consultation and engagement with local businesses.

“Our project partners, contractors and City staff played excellent roles in ensuring such a high-profile project has come to life and been delivered on-time.

“I hope everyone in our community gets the opportunity to enjoy this very special part of our great City.

“Over the coming months, other events will be hosted here, including our new SouthSide Summer festival to activate and showcase the space.”

The ceremony took place near the new Duchess seating, which acknowledges the paddle steamer that used to take passengers between South Perth and Barrack Street Jetty in the early 1900s.

The Carols at Sunset event attracted around 800 people, and will be followed by the SouthSide Summer series running on Friday nights and Saturdays in January and February – during FRINGE WORLD Festival 2020. For more information, see the event page on the City’s website.

Connect South was a $7.5 million project, made possible with $2.5 million from National Stronger Regions Round 3 funding (Federal Government) and $5 million from the City of South Perth. The majority of the funding was spent on the on the piazza foreshore area with minor updates to the north end of Mends Street. For more information, visit the Connect South page on the City’s website.

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Related topics 

39 page reference as well as individual zones
such as Como Beach, Narrows

Capture the Boat mood

at the Jetty with Paddle Steamer Decoy
heritage tours and jazz band outings 

or Little Ferry Co - heritage design 11 seat solar powered fleet
operating Perth swan river - regular routes and private charters

directory of places and landmarks


Places visited

Event date / locationEvent typeTitle / summaryVenue / hostPublication link
2021.02 Rottnest Island Thrill ride: Jet Boat extreme fun Thrill boat ride fbk grp wa tourism - video 
2020.11.14 Applecross Swan river twilight sunset sail  free outings with members South of Perth Yacht Club fbk page - pic vid 
2020.09.25 Perth cbd swan rover new floating pub  The Raft fbk page 
2020.10.27 South Perth day adventure History the tram  Ferry Tram Museum fbk group wa tourism 
2020.10.03 South Perth Sunset river walk  Mindeerup Piazza fbk page pics  
Showing 5 items from page Places visited sorted by edit time. View more »

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